The Kilgore Police Department is trying to take the surprise out of police officers waiting with radar and make it easier for drivers in Kilgore to avoid getting a ticket.

KPD has become the first agency in East Texas to announce via social media where its officers are positioned with radar.

After seeing the concept – as used by the Dallas-Fort Worth area Keller Police Department – presented at a conference, Kilgore Police Chief Todd Hunter decided it could be something to implement locally.

“I, too, thought it would be a good idea,” Hunter said.

While some people might question why the department would publicize that information, Hunter explained their goal is simple – compliance.

“Our overall goal is just compliance to the traffic laws,” he said. That can come from writing tickets, but Hunter said the department would like voluntary compliance when possible. Posting the locations also allows KPD to further its other goal of being a transparent agency.

With both Facebook and Twitter, KPD has a reach of about 3,665 people, but Hunter said people have been sharing the information through social media to broaden that number.

“In our field, education is the key,” he said. Being able to educate the public about traffic laws and address concerns or issues through the postings can be a “win-win” situation, he said.

KPD joined Twitter May 8, and that was also when the first radar location was sent out to the department’s online followers. Radar positions have been sent out more consistently over the past few weeks, though.

He has gotten small comments from community members, expressing support for the new concept, but Hunter said it is too soon to tell if the information has had an impact on drivers’ tendencies or speeds.

Although KPD is the only police department in East Texas, as far as Hunter is aware, to post this information, he said he hopes it will start a trend across the area.

©2014 the Kilgore News Herald (Kilgore, Texas)